All-Natural 10 Bodybuilding Supplements For Muscle GrowthDr. Surya Bhagwati
Discussions of nutrition for athletes and bodybuilders invariably lead to the subject of supplementation. Of course, the first supplements that come to mind are whey protein, creatine, and anabolic steroids. Like many fitness enthusiasts, you might be averse to taking steroids and other pharmaceutical products because of the risk of side effects. So where does this leave you? In case you didn’t already know, there are a number of herbs that can be used to support your workout routine and maximize your gains. With completely natural ingredients, these herbal supplements are generally regarded as safe if used in the right dosages. Ayurvedic herbs for muscle growth are generally regarded as the most effective and safe natural bodybuilding supplements, but we’ll take a look at broader selection including some herbs from as far apart as China and the Amazon!
Top 10 Herbs for Muscle Growth
1. Ashwagandha for Muscle Growth
Whether or not you’re familiar with natural muscle growth supplements, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of ashwagandha before. The most popular of all Ayurvedic herbs, ashwagandha is often used in men’s health supplements and in natural substitutes for synthetic supplements. Extensively researched for its therapeutic potential, the herb has been shown to promote improvements in performance, strength, and cardiorespiratory function. Studies show that the herb also works as an adaptogen, reducing cortisol levels, while it also boosts testosterone which promotes muscle growth.
2. Shatavari for Muscle Growth
Shatavari is another Ayurvedic herb for muscle growth that is also categorized as a rasayana or rejuvenative. Commonly used in reproductive health formulas, the herb is also valuable as a natural muscle growth supplement because of its positive influence on energy levels and strength. Steroidal sapoins in the herb are also known to raise testosterone levels, while high levels of the amino acid asparagine can help with protein synthesis.
Like ashwagandha, eleuthero is also a type of ginseng, but it comes from Siberia. Similar to its Ayurvedic cousin, this herb is an adaptogen that lowers stress levels, but it also improves exercise or sports performance. This is because of a demonstrated effect of increasing VO2 max levels and endurance in studies. Eleuthero may also help improve performance through reduced recovery time as it helps in the breakdown of lactic acid, which accumulates during workouts to cause muscle soreness.
4. Gokhru for Muscle Growth
Gokhru is widely used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat a number of conditions including kidney disease, diabetes, and female reproductive disorders. However, in recent years the herb has become popular with competitive athletes and bodybuilders because of its proven effectiveness at raising levels of the male hormone testosterone without violating anti-doping laws and causing side effects. If you’re part of any sports or athletic community, you’d probably hear of it as Tribulus Terrestris – its botanical name. Aside from boosting testosterone levels, research suggests that the herb may also increase anaerobic muscle power.
5. Bitter orange for Muscle Growth
One of the biggest concerns for athletes and bodybuilders is fat burn without muscle loss. While anabolic steroids can ensure such results, they pose a serious risk of liver damage. Bitter orange extracts can help get you shredded without that risk thanks to the presence of natural plant alkaloids that are proven to reduce fat buildup without muscle loss. These results are attributed to its effect of naturally raising the metabolic rate, which increases calorie burn.
6. Safed Musli for Muscle Growth
Like many of the other herbs for muscle growth, safed musli has long been used in Ayurveda to treat a range of male sexual disorders, especially if related to low testosterone levels. As a natural bodybuilding herb, safed musli however does more than raise testosterone levels. Some clinical investigations have shown the herb to help raise human growth hormone (HGH) levels. Considering the role of HGH in muscle mass increases, this is one ingredient that you’ll want in any Ayurvedic medication for muscle growth.
7. Salab Punja for Muscle Growth
This one makes it to our list only because of its efficacy and importance in traditional Ayurveda, but you won’t find it any supplements that are sold legally. This is because the herb is seriously endangered due to habitat loss and there are strict laws to protect it. Although primarily used in the treatment of digestive disorders and sexual dysfunction, some research has also shown it to be as effective as conventional treatments to raise testosterone, promoting muscle mass increase and higher energy levels.
Echinacea is familiar to most naturopaths, as it is widely used in traditional medicinal systems to boost immunity and treat minor infections. From more recent research, it has been suggested that the herb may also help boost athletic endurance, making it a valuable natural supplement for athletes. This benefit is linked to a possible increase in erythropoietin (EPO) levels, which is helpful in the regulation of red blood cell production. Improved red blood cell health and production ultimately boosts endurance as it results in increased oxygen supply to muscle tissue.
Jiaogulan or gynostemma is native to Asia and has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, which shares a similar rich history to Ayurveda. Part of the cucumber family, jiaogulan may help improve performance endurance and reduce exercise fatigue because of a strengthening effect on cardiovascular function. As demonstrated in studies, the herb encourages the release of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and improves cardio output.
An exotic herb that is native to the Amazon, guarana is notable for its high content of caffeine, which is used to fight fatigue and increase alertness. What sets the herb apart from coffee is that caffeine from guarana is released slowly. This means that it works as a steady and sustainable stimulant, which is why it is now used in some nutraceutical products for athletes. It is claimed that the herb can increase fat burning and raise energy levels for improved athletic performance.
When it comes to some of the more exotic herbs, you should remember that although they are promising, more research is needed to appraise their safety and dosage requirements. Ayurvedic herbs and supplements for muscle growth would be some of the best choices when looking for natural medications and herbal supplements for muscle growth, as they have a longer history of use and have greater support from clinical studies. As always, speak to your doctor before you begin supplementation if you suffer from any pre-existing health condition.
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